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Quantum shaves headcount in HDD restructure

Splits roadmaps in twain

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Quantum is to reduce its workforce by 113 staff in a $60-million cost savings restructure of its hard disk business. Most staff will go through "attrition and delayed hiring", the company said. In an echo of Intel’s recent move to dual roadmaps (for Celeron and Pentium IIs), Quantum is splitting its desktop product roadmap to attack two distinct markets sectors; the so-called value segment and the performance segments. Quantum said it was changing its HDD operating model to suit the changing PC HDD market. This has seen demand for budget PCs sky-rocket in the last three quarters, in turn leading to pressure for cheaper HDDs. For the value segment, Quantum has "initiated development of lower-cost storage solutions targeted at the requirements of next-generation value PCs". Although it does not say what this is. The company reckons it already has 30 per cent of the value segment market through the Quantum Bigfoot line of 5.25-inch drives. The company is attacking the performance segment with the Fireball range. At the same time, Quantum aims to shave manufacturing costs by reducing product complexity through "fewer combinations of head/media and motor sources", and by getting its outsource manufacturer Matsushita-Kotobuki Electronics, Ltd(MKE)to ship some products directly to customers. The company also aims to "increase reliability and reduce annualized failure rates (AFRs) through design and process improvements". A pious hope or a missive from on high for the factory bods to get their act together? ®

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